Jan 23, 2012

Scams in Istanbul: Why I trust people (1 of 3)

<< crossposted on 'The 30 Home Games' blog

up in the air, clooney, connection, travel
"The best adventures happen when you trust somebody"
- paraphrased quote entered into a running mate's phone
The third week into my Turkey experience and I was in snow-covered Göreme. It was a foggy day. I was eavesdropping on an exchange between a tour operator and a representative for a busload of tourists. The owner of the nearby horseranch came out and we chatted about the unreasonable expectations people have. "If you come to Turkey in winter be prepared for snow" he began. "It doesn't matter that it was sunny last week in Dubai. Today you're in Turkey". We connected, he invited me inside where it was warmer.

I hung around for about 5 hours. He commanded a staff of 6 or so of varying ages and experience. They came in and out and we talked about the usual  girls, dreams and life. One associate had been living in Japan for 2 years, it was his second day back in Turkey. He confided that he had a miserable time there but he loves his newborn son and his Japanese wife (they met when she was a tourist). He had a lot of thinking to do. We drank Raki and Efes beer, ate some kebab and smoked.

I mentioned my time in Turkey has been more scenic than social. These are the types of interactions I value and what I've enjoyed most about how I travel. Having had difficulty finding it in Turkey, I cherished this experience all the more.

It's ultimately what connects me to a place - being accepted or feeling like I belong in some way. The ranchowner described the feeling like a mirror, "we tend to like things when we can see ourselves in it" . The ranchowner commended me on my openness, the feeling was mutual. I explained that all my best experiences and adventures have come with an exchange of trust. Strangers off the street, Couchsurfers have welcomed me into their lives and homes. As a stranger I've been welcomed into classrooms and house parties and been handed house keys from people I've just met.

Times I've trusted in others and vice versa:
- CouchSurfing: I accompanied Latvians as they delivered flowers to beloved former teachers and been escorted by scooter to a wrestling show in Germany.
- Strangers met on Lithuanian streets have invited me to parasail and pick mushrooms
- Gone on road trips and slept in unfurnished apartments with new friends
- I was an honorary Student at the SpoHo in Köln. Eating at their Mensa (cafeteria), joining them on social theme park trips and participating in university classes
- Had amazing meals in Portugal through the kindness of strangers
- I surrender myself each time I Ego Trip

We tried to figure out why two strangers could be so trusting so quickly. The ranchowner offered "When your soul is naked, people can recognise". It's just my nature, I have faith in people and my 'spidey sense' has served me well.

Enter Istanbul...
- Scams in Istanbul: Why I trust people (1 of 3)
- Scams in Istanbul: Why people trust others (2 of 3)
- Scams in Istanbul: The reality of trusting (3 of 3)

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